Shehbaz’s Remand Extended Till Nov 7 In Ashiana Housing Case
The remand of PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif was extended till November 7 on Monday by an accountability court in the Ashiana Housing Scheme case.
The country’s top accountability watchdog had arrested the former Punjab chief minister over his alleged involvement in the multi-billion rupee housing scheme scam.
Shehbaz was produced before accountability judge Anjumul Hasan amid heavy security. During the hearing, National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) prosecutor asserted that the bureau needed to detain the opposition leader for further investigation.
However, the defence counsel, comprising Advocate Amjad Pervaiz and Azam Nazir, objected to extending the remand. The accountability court had earlier granted a 14-day remand to NAB on October 16.
Shehbaz is the eighth accused person to be arrested in the case. In February, NAB had arrested LDA’s former director general Ahad Khan Cheema. Within a few days of Cheema’s arrest, the bureau also arrested Bilal Qidwani, Imtiaz Haider, Shahid Shafiq, Sardar Saeed and Arif Butt.
During the investigations, NAB found that Cheema had misused his authority in awarding the contract to Casa Developers, a company that was not eligible for the project according to the Public Private Partnership Act in return for a bribe of 32 kanals of land.
In July, NAB also arrested former principal secretary to PM Fawad Hassan Fawad, who served as implementation secretary of the project at the time of its launch. the anti-graft watchdog accused him of issuing orders of awarding the contract to Chaudhry Latif and Sons.
He was also accused of hiding an inquiry conducted by then finance secretary Tariq Bajwa to probe the matter of suspension of the award of the contract. NAB also conducted a raid at the house of Fawad and found laptops, USBs and other evidences. During investigations, it was found that he also had assets beyond his means.
While investigating the Ashiyana scam, NAB also started investigating the complaints of embezzlement and corruption in Paragon Housing Society. It summoned former railways minister Saad Rafique, his brother Salman Rafique and others in connection with the scam multiple times.
It came forth during the investigations that a ‘fishy’ deal for exchange of land over 40 kanals was also made between the Ashiyana-e-Iqbal Housing project and the Paragon Society.
NAB has summoned Saad Rafique and Salman Rafique in the Paragon Housing Society scam case on October 16.
Besides the Ashiana scam, Shehbaz is also being probed in connection with the 56 companies case, Punjab Saaf Paani Company case and a case concerning the construction of Raiwind Road.